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Jenny Schecter was a mess. There’s no denying it. The writing for her character was so outlandishly inconsistent that you never knew which incarnation you were going to get from one season to the next. She was a duplicitous megalomaniac whose self-indulgent, self-destructive antics knew no boundary. But you know what? So is Don Draper. So was Walter White. So was Dexter and Jack Bauer and House and Tony Soprano. But they’re dudes, so that makes them interesting. Jenny Schecter is a lady, so her deal makes her a cunt.

I read Alison Bechdel’s “Are You My Mother?” and didn’t enjoy it very much compared to her other graphic novel, BUT there was one piece of information in it that I found really interesting:

Bechdel quotes psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott in saying that he believes the root of all misogyny is the fact that we were all dependent on a woman at one time (our mother). He says that in healthy individuals, this turns into feelings of gratitude/appreciation, but it can become resentment or hatred in some cases.

Childhood and adolescent experiences with masturbation are important early sources of learning about sexuality… This learning is important to our experience of adult, two-person sex. For example, Kinsey’s data suggested that women who masturbate to orgasm before marriage are more likely to orgasm in intercourse with their husbands; note that this is in direct contradiction to the old-fashioned advice given in manuals that suggested that “getting hooked” on masturbation might impair later marital sexuality; if anything, just the reverse is true.

—"Understanding Human Sexuality"

I think it’s amazing that [some men want] to be a feminist, but the first rule to learn when you’re a privileged ally is to listen to the oppressed class. I wouldn’t go and tell a person of color that their point is invalid when they talk about racism because valid and invalid are not things I get to decide in that realm. Instead, I need to listen to their stories and concerns and work within their experiences, because they’re the ones experiencing the oppression. When someone says I did something racist, I don’t prove anything by yelling at them for calling me that. I can only help the situation by asking them what I did to come across as racist and what I could do better next time to not be racist. Then, if I really want to call myself an ally, I have to listen to them and absorb what they say. Same goes for men who want to call themselves feminists. You have to sit back and listen to women and trust that we know more than you do about misogyny because we live it and you do not.

The conversation is not about makeup and whether or not you like to see women in it, the conversation is about two things: 1. the social phenomenon of men who want to see themselves as feminists in theory but don’t want to do the work that it takes to be a feminist in practice (in this case they say they like women without makeup but they wouldn’t ever really date a woman who wasn’t actively keeping with a beauty regimen). 2. the comments made that come across as in support of women but are really still about the male perspective/gaze/opinion (“I like you better without makeup” is still about the male’s preference, not whether or not the woman wants to wear makeup or not, it’s still a statement that says that her looks have to be validated by a man to be ok).

When you took this conversation that is trying to have more depth back to a shallow level and expect a pat on the back for being a good guy who likes his women au natural, you are proving the exact point of the arguments made by the feminists here.

—Queerie Bradshaw

(Source: queeriebradshaw.com)

I don’t know how many times and in how many different ways I can say this, but a person who is resolutely anti-choice is not “for civil liberties.” Nor does he support “a humbler role for government,” as there is nothing humble about the government crawling up inside vaginas and planting flags of ownership.

—Melissa McEwan

(Source: shakesville.com)

Though the word may be occasionally used unfairly (for example, to describe a physically unattractive guy’s genuinely respectful attempt at striking up a conversation), “creepy” serves a vital function. No other word is as effective as describing when a man has crossed a woman’s boundary; no other word forces a man to reflect on how his behavior makes other people feel. A guy can disprove accusations of being weak by displaying strength (often in foolish ways.) But a guy can only disprove the charge of creepiness by fundamentally altering his behavior to be more genuinely respectful of women.

This, of course, is why some guys hate the word so much; it forces men to reflect carefully about how they make women feel. No wonder then that so many guys are campaigning against “creep-shaming.” After all, the sooner the term becomes socially unacceptable, the sooner men can get back to not having to think about women’s boundaries.

—Hugo Schwyzer, “Why Guys Really Hate Being Called ‘Creepy’”

(Source: jezebel.com)

So, I joined a forum where women share creepy messages they’ve gotten on OkCupid, Facebook, via text, etc. and I knew I had some doozies, so I decided to have a look through my FB message history to find some to post.

I consider myself fairly lucky in that I am a) not conventionally attractive and b) somewhat authoritative/intimidating (according to some folks) so I’ve never been a major target of harassment from men seeking sex or intimacy. That’s not to say that it hasn’t happened – just that it seems to happen to me less often than it does to many of my female friends.

However, even though that’s true, it’s still shocking to look at all the ridiculous messages I’ve received over the past few years. Particularly those where I had the gall to tell off some guy for whatever appalling sexual comment he had made about me and he reacted by calling me a bitch, stupid, etc. This seems to happen just about every time I express any kind of opposition to creepy male attention.

Who are these guys? Why are their egos so swollen that they think they are entitled to favorable sexual attention from women, and when they don’t get it, they react like a 3-year-old? What person or experience has taught them that this is acceptable behavior?

If a woman says no to your unwanted advances, she’s not denying you a right that you’ve earned, she’s not being harsh or mean, she’s not being stupid – she’s protecting herself and exercising her right to make decisions about what she will and won’t tolerate in her life. These are behaviors which, in men, are lauded as intelligence and self-sufficiency, but in women, are called “bitchiness” or “frigidity.”

Ugh. Fuckin’ patriarchy.

some guy made a comment on a message board that “male privilege doesn’t exist,” because he himself doesn’t feel he’s led a privileged life

and i left a comment saying basically, “actually yes, male privilege is a thing, regardless of what other privileges you do and don’t have, and if you can’t see it, it’s because you’ve been living it all your life”

and he replied, WITHOUT A TRACE OF IRONY, to snidely mock the fact that i have some cleavage in my profile picture

REALLY? you don’t have male privilege? okay then, who’s derailing your argument by calling attention to your appearance? oh, nobody? yeah, that’s what i thought.

When a sitting member of Congress says that giving women control over their bodies is equivalent to a terrorist act, equivalent to encroachments on liberty over which we’ve fought wars, that is a level of hostility toward women’s agency which would be considered hate speech in a decent country that took misogyny seriously.

—Melissa McEwan on Mike Kelly’s ridiculous assertion that the new health insurance birth control mandate is an “attack on religious freedom” in the same way that 9/11 was a terrorist attack on the USA

(Source: shakesville.com)